Winners M&A Awards 2023

After a preliminary research and selection process supported by our knowledge partner Vlerick Business School, the jury reviewed 72 extensive pitches (submitted by the M&A community), nominated 18 finalists in six categories and chose one winner for the Lifetime Achievement Award. View all the nominees here.

All deals have been thoroughly evaluated by the jury. The judges determined the winners by scoring each deal on criteria such as value creation, strategy, complexity, financing structure, entrepreneurship, etc. See all criteria in the Regulations 2023.

The winners of the M&A Awards 2023 were announced during the gala evening on 23 November at Brussels Expo, Paleis 10, in Brussels.

Best Large Cap Corporate Deal 2023

Orange Belgium acquires VOO

Comments of the jury

The jury’s decision to choose Orange’s acquisition of VOO underscores the recognition of the deal’s immense complexity and strategic importance for all stakeholders involved. This landmark transaction not only reshapes the Belgian Technology, Media, and Telecommunications (TMT) landscape but also establishes a third national convergent telecom operator, promising significant implications for competition and innovation in the industry.

Best Mid Cap Corporate Deal 2023

Cegeka acquires Computer Task Group Incorporated

Comments of the jury

The jury honoured the acquisition of Computer Task Group by Cegeka. CTG is a leading provider of digital transformation solutions. The acquisition of the American company will allow Cegeka to become a true global IT integrator with a turnover of 1,4 billion euro. It is the temporary cherry on the cake of the growth path mapped out by the Knaepen family, the owner of Cegeka, and their co-shareholder Gimv. 

Best Large Cap Private Equity Exit 2023

Sale of Amadys to ETC Group by Equistone Partners Europe

Comments of the jury

In this category, the jury chose the sale of Amadys by Equistone Partners Europe. This was a complex and particular deal with many stakeholders involved. Amadys is on a commendable journey, having created significant value in a relatively short period by a series of built-up acquisitions supported by private equity funding. The current deal may be seen as a further important milestone in Amadys’ growth strategy.    

Best Mid Cap Private Equity Exit 2023

Sale of Pauwels Consulting to Bert Pauwels, Management and Andera by 3D Investors

Comments of the jury

Since 3D Investors’ entry in 2016, Pauwels Consulting grew from an SME into a Belgian market leader in Belgium, while simultaneously growing a strategic market position in the Netherlands. Its turnover grew fivefold, thanks to continuous organic growth combined with 12 acquisitions in Belgium and the Netherlands. The exit of 3D and the entry of Andera Partners allowed the founder, Bert Pauwels, to regain a majority stake in his company, together with the management. Andera Partners aims to support Pauwels Consulting further growth at the European level. 

Best Venture Capital Deal – Technology 2023


Comments of the jury

The winner in this category was Keyrock, a technology-driven digital asset market maker active on 85+ trading venues worldwide. The name Keyrock doesn’t ring a bell in the Belgian VC market, but the jury was impressed by the sheer size of the 72 million dollar Series B fundraise. This deal comprises international top-quality investors Ripple, SIX Fintech Ventures and Middlegame Ventures and the Belgian VC, Volta Ventures. The company has managed to realise exponential growth and resulting value creation in a challenging market, especially given the current turmoil in the cryptocurrency market.   

Best Venture Capital Deal – Life Sciences 2023


Comments of the jury

The jury was impressed by Aphea.Bio. Started in 2017 as a spin-off of VIB, the cradle of many successful biotech companies, Aphea.Bio turned in six years’ time into a top-notch agricultural technology company. In the summer of 2023, the company secured a 70 million euro Series C funding round provided by highly reputable international and local investors and supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

The jury was charmed by the combination of a world-class team under the inspired leadership of co-founder and CEO Isabel Vercauteren, with strong scientific foundations and promising products that can effectively tackle the significant challenges faced in modern agricultural practices. Aphea.Bio’s ultimate goal is to supply the growing world population, both in North and South, with sufficient and healthy food. 

Lifetime Achievement Award 2023

Jos Peeters

Comments of the jury

Jos Peeters is a trailblazer in the realm of venture capital, and his distinguished career spans over three decades. As the founder of Capricorn Partners and Quest for Growth, he has overseen the management of diverse funds, totalling more than 500 million euros, leaving an indelible mark on the venture capital landscape in Flanders. 

Jos his career boasts numerous pivotal moments and significant accomplishments contributing to the European venture landscape. He was the founder and first President of the Belgian Venture Association (BVA). His co-founding of EASDAQ, a pan-European exchange for growth equities, is a testament to his expertise in shaping financial markets. Notably, EASDAQ laid the foundation for Equiduct, an influential trading platform. His visionary role in conceptualizing the public-private partnership structure, now flourishing in its private iteration, underscores his foresight in identifying trends and pioneering revolutionary financial models. 

Jos Peeters holds influential positions in the business world, with roles as the Founder and Chairman of the Executive Committee at Capricorn Partners, a Board member at Confo Therapeutics, and a Director at Quest For Growth. His diverse experience in venture capital includes a stint as the Managing Director of BeneVent Management, associated with the Almanij-Kredietbank Group. Prior to these pivotal roles, he gained experience at PA Technology and Bell Telephone Manufacturing Company, setting the stage for his remarkable entrepreneurial journey. 

Beyond the corporate sphere, Jos has chaired the European Venture Capital Association (EVCA) and is currently a Director of EASDAQ NV, overseeing the “Equiduct” platform for secondary equities trading. His global impact extends to his membership on the Global Advisory Board of the London Business School, along with his honorary fellowship at Hogeheuvel College and chairmanship of Science at Leuven, both affiliations rooted in the prestigious University of Leuven (KUL). His academic prowess is exemplified by his doctorate in physics from the esteemed University of Leuven. 

Jos Peeters’ exceptional skills, expertise, and leadership have been instrumental in his remarkable journey. He possesses a unique ability to foresee market gaps and proactively address them. Under his stewardship, Capricorn Partners has emerged as a beacon of excellence, setting new industry standards and redefining the realms of possibility within the venture capital landscape.  

In the vast tapestry of the business world, Jos Peeters stands as a titan of entrepreneurship, his name synonymous with pioneering ventures. It is with deep admiration and respect that the Jury chose Jos Peeters for the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, a recognition that not only reflects his outstanding accomplishments but also serves as a tribute to a lifetime dedicated to fostering the private equity sector in Belgium and beyond.